Coping emotional discomfort at retail checkout: Potential distractions and implications

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Retail customers often wait to complete their purchases during the checkout process. Prior research suggests that long checkout lines and service delays negatively affect customers’ evaluation of store services. The present study investigates the potential customer and in-store distractions and their implication for emotional discomfort due to crowding stress. This study employed a cross-sectional research design and surveyed 385 respondents visiting the target retail outlets in Bengaluru, India. Correlation analysis explored the relationship between self-distraction, in-store distractions, and emotional discomfort. The study found that self-distraction negatively correlates with discomfort while in the queue (r = –0.119) and discomfort during the billing (r = –0.119). In contrast, in-store distractions (r = –0.161) and video displays near the checkout area (r = 0.116) effectively reduce emotional discomfort while in the queue. Additionally, point-of-purchase (POP) display (r = –0.265) and availability of refreshments near the billing counter (r = –0.175) are effective in reducing emotional discomfort during the billing. This study thus offers viable and affordable methods of improving the customer’s waiting experience while contributing to store profits.

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    • Table 1. Sample demographics
    • Table 2. Relationship between self-distraction and emotional discomfort while in the queue
    • Table 3. Relationship between self-distraction and emotional discomfort during the billing
    • Table 4. Relationship between in-store distractions and emotional discomfort while in the queue
    • Table 5. Relationship between in-store distractions and emotional discomfort during the billing
    • Conceptualization
      Vinish P
    • Data curation
      Vinish P, M. M. Munshi
    • Formal Analysis
      Vinish P, Prakash Pinto, Iqbal Thonse Hawaldar , M. M. Munshi
    • Investigation
      Vinish P, Prakash Pinto
    • Methodology
      Vinish P, Prakash Pinto, Iqbal Thonse Hawaldar
    • Software
      Vinish P, Prakash Pinto, Iqbal Thonse Hawaldar
    • Writing – original draft
      Vinish P
    • Supervision
      Prakash Pinto, Iqbal Thonse Hawaldar
    • Validation
      Prakash Pinto, Iqbal Thonse Hawaldar
    • Writing – review & editing
      Prakash Pinto, Iqbal Thonse Hawaldar , M. M. Munshi
    • Funding acquisition
      Iqbal Thonse Hawaldar
    • Project administration
      Iqbal Thonse Hawaldar
    • Resources
      Iqbal Thonse Hawaldar , M. M. Munshi